I can remember my first year in college. President Obama was re-elected for a second term. People said that the world would end, according to the Mayan Calendar. And that was the same year a certain debate became mainstream – what is marriage? Societies across the globe, religious or non-religious, have defined marriage as the union between a man and a woman. Then after the year 2012, what was taken as common knowledge was challenged, questioned, and ultimately redefined in America. Today, men can marry men, and women can marry women.
Those in support of the change advocated that, “Love is love,” and “People are born this way.” The defenders of traditional marriage claimed, “If you give them marriage, then it’s a slippery slope from here.”
During that time, I was very passive in my Christian beliefs, standing aside for abortion and other sins. However, I recall standing my ground about marriage. In fact, I remember being in a peer’s dorm, a fellow Christian, telling her that if this continued, pedophilia would become normalized. She thought I was being ridiculous, and maybe I was at the time. Though, today, certain organizations exist that may just prove me right.
So how did we get here? Is modern-day sex-positivity the problem? Was the redefinition of marriage to blame? Or is the 1960’s Sexual Revolution the culprit?
People thought the slippery slope argument was ridiculous. One thing does not lead to another. Allowing same-sex marriage does not open any floodgates for other ideas. They were wrong.
From homosexuality, we went to transgenderism. From transgenderism, we received neopronouns and a plethora of sexualities. And believe it or not, pedophilia is on the way. As our society has changed the rules of sexuality and marriage, sex has of course been affected.
Most forms of sex have been destigmatized. Sex outside of marriage is okay, homosexuality is okay, hooking up is okay, polyamory is okay. Most things are okay, so long as you have consent. Society says that consent is all we need. Not God’s blessing, not a committed relationship, just consent. As long as two people have that, they can do whatever they want.
But when God prescribed sex for Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply, was consent all they needed?
No. There was much more that God wanted for them, and for us in our sexual relationships.
“Marriage is to be honored by all and the marriage bed kept undefiled, because God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers.” (Hebrews 13:4)
Marriage doesn’t mean much to modern society, not when divorce is at an all-time high. Some view marriages as relationships that come and go, a promise that can be broken if you ever find yourself dissatisfied. While a case can be made for rare exceptions for divorce, by and large, we know from Scripture that God is not a fan of divorce (1 Corinthians 7:10-11). Conversely, He is a fan of marriage, and one benefit He gives to married couples is the gift of sex.
Based on the Lord’s Word, we understand that sex is not an experience meant for all, but for the person we commit to being our spouse.
“God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)
God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. The one sure way they multiplied the human race was through sex. He gave the same commandment to Noah and his family. When animals have sex, they too engage in the act for procreating. The gift of sex creates the gift of life. That’s how all organisms grow to populate the Earth.
Granted, sex doesn’t solely exist for baby-making; not for humans. We can thank Song of Songs for that insight, but sex is the sure way to make babies. Thus, if we are not in a relationship that can facilitate caring for a baby, we shouldn’t be having sex.
“Don’t you know that anyone joined to a prostitute is one body with her? For Scripture says, The two will become one flesh.” (1 Corinthians 6:16)
The act of sex is one of the most intense feelings we can ever experience. In this act, two people solidify their union physically, emotionally, and spiritually. While society encourages hooking up and sex outside of marriage, those behaviors are a recipe for disaster, hurt, and loneliness. God’s route, marriage, is the way toward union, commitment, and companionship.
We have the free will to have sex with whomever and however, but having the free will to do something does not mean we should.
If love is love, then not all love is of God. Let’s consider, God made us in His image. We have emotions, some of which we see God exhibit in the Bible: anger, compassion, sadness, love. Though we may showcase these emotions within ourselves, having these emotions in themselves is not holy.
Emotions are neutral, how we use emotions determines whether we act out of virtue or vice. We can feel angry after witnessing injustice and communicate those feelings. Or we can attack in anger and fight someone. One is okay, the other is not.
When we pick someone to love, we need to ensure we are acting within God’s will for us. That way we’re guaranteed success. Maybe we can experience love with someone of the same sex that is sexual, but that love is not God-ordained. Every heterosexual relationship is not God-ordained either. Let’s seek those relationships that God desires for us.
We shouldn’t take for granted that rape is wrong. The same goes for any act that we deem immoral. Where do our morals come from? Christians answer that it is the Bible.
Sex requires consent because, otherwise, we are acting out in violence toward another and stealing. God’s commandment to not steal traces back to the Ten Commandments. Rape is an act that can take away someone’s virginity, sense of security, safety, peace, etc.
Society is correct in that consent is extremely important, but if consent is all we need, then why is incest wrong? As Christians, we can say the Bible speaks on the immorality of incest. But what can the world say?
One worldly answer is that incest is wrong because of the possible side effects on children. But remember, not everyone can have children, and not all sex is meant for childbearing. Two people of the same sex cannot make a baby anyway. Incest is possible between relatives who meet as adults.
Therefore, consent is a part of the whole pie, but definitely not the only ingredient for what we call sex.
We return to the question at hand. Is consent all we need for sex?
For all of the aforementioned reasons, we can conclude that no, God’s design for sex is not limited to consent. When God married Adam and Eve and gave them marriage and the commandment to multiply, he intended for their relationship to be more than just enacting their passions. Eve was created as a “helper” for Adam, not a sexual liaison. God loved Adam and gave him someone to love and be loved by. God blesses us in the same way.
Consent is important, but is only one factor among others. The world will continue to change. Our standards for marriage and sex could go back to what they were before, or not. What we can control is staying aware of the changes in society.
There are people currently working to destigmatize pedophilia. As children are allowed and encouraged to transition into the opposite sex through “gender-affirming therapy,” society can also decide that children can consent to sex.
Make yourself aware, keep your loved ones aware. And always pray. No matter how bleak the world looks, there is always hope to find in God.
Photo Credit: Pixabay/Pexels
Aaron Brown is a freelance writer, hip-hop dance teacher, and visual artist, living in Virginia. He currently contributes work to iBelieve, Crosswalk, and supports various clients through the platform Upwork. He's an outside-the-box thinker with a penchant for challenging the status quo.